But with do-every-thing football standout Carl Grimes leading the way, Detroit DePorres, alias David, is set to take on Redford Detroit Catholic Central, alias Goliath, Sunday in a battle of Detroit area high school football powers.
DePorres only has an enrollment of 269 compared to 2.136 for Catholic Central. Both teams play in the Detroit Catholic High School League. Both are ranked No. 1 in their respective positions: Catholic Central in Division 1 and DePorres in Division 8, the largest and smallest in the state.
But DePorres is 21-0 with victories against bigger schools, including Holt. Grimes, listed as a running back-kick returner-wide receiver-defensive back who has committed to Michigan State, is among the reasons for the 2-0 start.
Grimes came into the season in his fourth year as a starter and as the Division 4 100-meter dash champion. He rushed for 751 yards and caught passes for 503 yards as a junior.
In the season opener, a victory against Jackson Lumen Christi, Grimes caught an 87-yard touchdown pass, giving clear indication he’s ready to take DePorres to his ultimate goal, the state finals. He also had four catches for 111 yards with one touchdown, plus four rushes for 38 yards against Lumen Christi.
“He’s one of our leaders. We expect a lot out of him,” said DePorres coach Greg Carter, adding that besides using Grimes at receiver, “we’ve been starting him at free safety and he’s also doing a great job as a punt and kickoff returner. We ask a lot of him. He’s more than come through for us.”
An all-stater at wide receiver, Grimes came into this season realizing he’d have a target on his back.
“He’s a marked man this year,” Carter said. “I expect him to take on the challenge. We want him to be a great leader, have fun, and play football.”
Carter has coached many outstanding players in nine years as a head high school football coach and 25 years overall. Besides Grimes, he’s got other standouts on this year’s team, including defensive back Eric Hines, also committed to Michigan State.
“But Carl ranks up there with the best receivers we’ve had,” Carter said.
Grimes and his teammates don’t duck the opposition when it comes to playing a caliber schedule.
“Jackson Lumen Christi was a good team,” Carter said. “We had a tough game against Holt. Now we play Catholic Central. Every week is a war for us.”
But Grimes is ready to do battle. “They’ll be tough. We’ll have to be very disciplined against those guys,” Grimes said.
The all-everything Eagles standout is ready for a banner season.
“We were pretty good last year but I think we’re better this year,” Grimes said. “I’m improved a lot from last year. I’m a little wiser and stronger. We’d like to win a state championship game.”
Grimes said playing several positions helps him fulfill his potential as a player, especially at wide receiver He’s expecting DePorres to put the ball more in the air this year. And while Grimes is focusing on a state title, he’s also working to get ready for his career at MSU. He figures he could play for the Spartans shortly after he walks on campus.
“I like the way they use their slotbacks,” he said. “I’ll have to get stronger and faster.”